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Two Alumni, One Senior Receive Scholarship for Graduate Study at Stanford

Durham, NC - 

Two Duke alumni and one graduating senior have been awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship for graduate study at Stanford University. Maya Sheth, class of 2020, Anjali Gupta, class of 2022, and Duke graduating senior Sydney Hunt have each received up to three years of financial support at Stanford.

Sheth, Gupta and Hunt are members of the sixth Knight-Hennessy cohort and are among the 10 Duke students who have received the scholarship since the program welcomed its first class in 2018.  

Maya Sheth, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at Stanford where she is modeling mechanisms of enhancer-gene regulation. She graduated summa cum laude from Duke with distinction in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering where she was selected for the Howard G. Clark Award for excellence in undergraduate research.

While at Duke, Sheth was the president of Duke Conservation Tech, a student organization that developed and implemented technology-driven projects to address resource scarcity and environmental degradation. She also conducted research with the Duke Comparative Oncology Group, taking an ecological and evolutionary approach to cancer research.

Anjali Gupta, from Cary, will use the scholarship to pursue a medical degree at the Stanford School of Medicine. Gupta, who was a Robertson Scholar at Duke, graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction in 2022 with a Program II major, studying the Interplay Between Health and Educational Outcomes.

As a 2022-2023 Hart Fellow, she partnered with the University of the Gambia School of Medicine to research issues of health care access and cancer epidemiology. At Duke, Gupta was president of Duke Partnership for Service. She also conducted health disparities research in the Department of Population Health Sciences, interned with the Freedom School program in rural North Carolina, and worked on family-school engagement initiatives at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education.

Sydney Hunt, from Cornwall, N.Y., is the second graduating senior from Duke and the second Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar to be awarded the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship. She will pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford after graduating with bachelor’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and computer science and a minor in gender, sexuality, and feminist Studies.

At Duke, she co-founded the nonprofit CS Sidekicks, Duke S.P.I.R.E. Fellows Living Learning Community, and Duke Technology Scholars Academic Support Team. Hunt also co-hosted the “This Engineering Life” podcast series, established the annual “Don’t Waste Food Points” food drive, and was selected as the Undergraduate Young Trustee. 

The Knight-Hennessy scholarship was founded in 2016 by Nike founder Phil Knight and John Hennessy, who served as Stanford University’s president from 2000 – 2016. The scholarship was created to educate and prepare a community of scholars for leadership roles in academia, industry, government, nonprofits and the wider community.

Duke students and alumni can receive support for opportunities like the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship from the Nationally Competitive Scholarships team at the Office of University Scholars and Fellows.

For more information on the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, visit the program website.